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29 December 2017 @ 12:03 am
_Cooking Hot_ part 5  
The dinner bit . . . except it will get moved to after Ebsa meets the Rude Chefs.

Ebsa flipped his experimental steaks. Grabbed plates and loaded veggies, then the steaks. Turned off the grill. "Let's grab a table. If anyone else shows up, they're on their own."

He glanced over to where the Ambassador was lingering, apparently deep into a conversation with one of the flunkeys. The Boor from the elevator was leaning back in his chair, as if disassociating himself from the Ambassador's wife who was gesturing at the two teenagers.

Ebsa plunked his plate down, and headed back to the kitchen. Six little plates with a miscellany of deserts from the pretty well cleaned out buffet, forks, on a tray, and quickly swapped for the empty dinner plates.

And that's it. They're on their own.

He flopped down between Ajha and Paer. "And my momma wonders why I don't want to run a restaurant!"

Paer snickered. "But it does get you Across, to cook . . . " She twirled a forkful of emu. "Weird things. What is this? I'd almost say really really gamey wild chicken, with very dark red dark meat."

"It's too lean to be goose." Ajha took another bite.

"Not unlike the T-Rex. Which is related to birds." Ra'd grinned. "I hope you didn't import some Giant Rat Steaks."

Fean shook her head. "It's a lot like ostrich. The sauce is very good but . . . "

Ebsa took a bite and chewed. "Yeah, leaner than I'd expected. The almond milk sauce doesn't work. Butter and mushroom would be better. It's emu."

And someone has a listening spell on us. Probably one of the Ambassador's staff taking an opportunity to spy on a subdirector . . .

"There's a Real Foods Grocery with a fantastic produce department, and the butcher's got a could hundred kilograms of frozen emu steaks. I may see if he'll keep it frozen for me, until the cook-off. It could be a unique stand-out dish."

That got him some odd glances from friends and superior alike.

"Paer? How, umm . . . "

She heaved out a deep breath. "Lady Gisele . . . she's the Comet Fall Goddess of Health and Fertility . . . she's amazing. She says no one else is going to die and told me to stop worrying about Rye and Woofie, that it would take time, but they'd recover fully."

Ebsa swallowed, nodded. Too frightened to ask about scarring and vision.

Poured sauce on his veggies and sampled that. Yes, this will be perfect for the Vegetarians. Otherwise, beef and chicken.

The listening spell faded and a chair behind him scrapped. He didn't turn his head, but out of the corner of his eye spotted a thin man walking away.

Ajha glanced toward the man, then turned to Ra'd. "So . . . care to talk about Prophets? How many did you know?"

Ra'd snorted. "Keep in mind that I was fifteen years old at Rangpur. I don't have an adult's memory of them. Dad was away a lot, we lived in Makkah part time until my mother died when I was eleven—she was quite old—so I knew them all, but not well. My Grandfather Emre and Grandmother Elif lived long lives . . . But after Mother died, we moved to Riyadh—my step-mother was a daughter of Victor. He was the most scholarly of the Prophets . . . I stayed with them for a couple of years."

Ra'd shrugged. "I went into training at 13, and probably spent more time with my dad those two years than the thirteen previous." He shrugged. "There was a break in the fighting, the war was confined to the far Northeast and Fort Rangpur just a watch post, so some of the families came out . . . and stayed too long."

Paer snickered. "And wound up here. If you think he's a bit stiff now, you ought to have seen him right after."

Ra'd snorted. "The transition from fighting a desperate losing battle to a suburban Parisian high school was not smooth. And that's after a . . . contentious . . . meeting with that hideous hive mind thing. Fortunately they, it, whatever, decided that they needed Warriors, and agreed that they would not again attempt to initiate one of us into the priesthood."

They pondered that in silence.

Ebsa finally spoke. "I suspect there's a whole lot more to that story."

"Oh yes. But no one died, or was even seriously injured. The President paid all claims and we all got pardons for miscellaneous . . . happenings."

They all looked at him.

He shrugged. "We only stole two police cars. There may have been some reckless driving involved, mental coercion to acquire plane tickets, assault on ecclesiastical guards . . . But the property damage in Makkah was their fault, not ours."

Ebsa shook his head. "When I was fifteen, I thought I was bad ass to skip school."

He eyed the man walking toward them. The elevator guy, great.

The man stopped and elevated his nose. "The Ambassador thanks . . . " Nose and jaw dropped. He stared at Paer. Jerked his eyes away from the President's daughter. "for an outstan . . . ding . . . " He boggled at Ajha.

Then Ra'd turned and gave him a good look over. The poor guy actually paled as he recognized and millennia old Warrior.

He looked back at Ebsa. "Who the hell are you?" His voice was a little high.

"Ebsa Clostuone Montevideo. Please tell the Ambassador I was delighted to serve him and his family and flunkies."

That got a glower. "One flunky. I'm the Ambassador's oldest child." He shrugged and his shoulders slumped a bit. "Although I suppose I'm a flunky too. Good steak. Did you know one of the Ministry cooks was sitting behind you, listening."

Really? Checking me out? Ebsa snickered. "This cook-off could be quite entertaining."

That got him a wide-eyed spooked look, that swept the table before he retreated to follow the ambassadorial party out the door.

Fean had her knuckles stuffed in her mouth. "Oh, that was awesome. And being overlooked will probably be good for my ego, once I stop laughing."

***

 
 
 
muirecanmuirecan on December 29th, 2017 07:58 am (UTC)
Poor fiend the other scary people at the table distracted the puppy from noticing her. Heh.
ekuah on December 29th, 2017 07:11 pm (UTC)
Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
If so, maybe Ambassador Ashe could learn of a rumor that one of the Earth chefs comes from Granite Peak.
This could lead to an argument about that Granite Peak 'is' Oner territory.

Disko would be called to arbitrate, and could decree to let Granite Peak participate as a independent competitor.
Which could lead to calls to let the non independent colonies compete too.

Much possibilities for backstabbing and drama.
matapampamuphoff on December 29th, 2017 10:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
No, I have to leave Granite Peak out of it, the situation there isn't allowed to boil over until _External Relations_.
ekuah on December 30th, 2017 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
I said nothing about boiling over.
Just a squabble. Some bruised egos. Disco thinking the issue is over.

But it would be a good seed to sow the mess that is going to boil over in _External Relations_
(Anonymous) on December 31st, 2017 12:20 am (UTC)
Re: Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
I thought that this was after External Relations. Isn't that where Ajha and Kael were promoted to their current positions?
matapampamuphoff on December 31st, 2017 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
Yep. The poor puppy has found the lowly Clostuone camp cook hobnobbing with (1) the daughter of the president (2) the Subdirector of Exploration and (3) The Warrior of the One who rescued his father and stepmother from a hostage situation by going invisible and teleporting them. A couple of weeks ago.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on January 1st, 2018 07:51 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Pam, do you still need skullduggery?
That will bend the poor puppies mind.
(Anonymous) on December 29th, 2017 07:24 pm (UTC)
Experienced gourmets
I would love to be a fly on the wall when the spy reports to his chef. "Sir, the people at the table with the Closey Upcommer Bastard apparently have eaten: wild chicken, goose, T-Rex, ostrich and giant rat (Rodents of Unusual Size?). He was serving Emu steaks which the Ambassador loved. ?????????
(Anonymous) on December 29th, 2017 10:31 pm (UTC)
Sadly I can see Ahja either crying in the corner or screaming with glee over how this goes. either lining up the perfect plant a spy in a kitchen idea, or killing it depending on how much he can keep Ebsa real abilities downplayed. So is he super directorate agent, decorated Heloas hunter, or oh just some clerk in the directorate who is a really good cook :)
matapampamuphoff on December 29th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ajha? Crying in the corner? No, that's Xen. I'll write that scene tomorrow. Right now I think I've almost got _Shadow Zone_ ready to kick out the door.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on December 30th, 2017 04:16 am (UTC)
So I was quite surprised tonight on plugging Uphoff Directorate into Amazon when I came up with book 7 Shadow Zone. Naturally I bought it and it fits well with books 5 & 6 that I have been reading today.
matapampamuphoff on December 30th, 2017 02:14 pm (UTC)
Me too! Barely an hour from submission to published!
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on December 30th, 2017 08:03 pm (UTC)
With yet another Pam variation since the cover image for
Shadow Zone (The Directorate Book 7)

Does not contain the word 'Directorate'.
matapampamuphoff on December 30th, 2017 10:00 pm (UTC)
:: Thumps head on Desk ::
(Deleted comment)
matapampamuphoff on December 31st, 2017 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Pam I'm sorry...
Head=>Desk
(Deleted comment)
matapampamuphoff on December 31st, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Pam I'm sorry...
If you have a list, go ahead and either post them here or mail them to me at uphofftx@hotmail.com

I may well have added that one in my last pass through the manuscript.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on December 30th, 2017 10:12 pm (UTC)
Hey as I already knew. It is a fun read. Now if I could just find the link to the lj posting of the rat, insect, and elf story.

I really like that one and will be delighted when it is published.
matapampamuphoff on December 31st, 2017 09:30 pm (UTC)
It's actually third in line for my Spring Blitz. Rough draft here:


https://pamuphoff.livejournal.com/272614.html
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on January 1st, 2018 07:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. I really really like Project Dystopia.
Joe Wojo Jrwojorider on April 16th, 2018 06:44 pm (UTC)
minor typo
rereading this and noticed no one had commented on this yet. "a could hundred kilograms" assume that was supposed to be a couple hundred


So much fun, hope this makes publication